Charters in the Philadelphia area received more than $30 million in Paycheck Protection Program funds, while public schools in Philadelphia continue to be systematically underfunded. The big winner in the PPP sweepstakes is the for-profit Chester Community Charter School, owned by a major Republican donor and billionaire.One of the largest loans, between $5 million and $10 million, went to Chester Community Charter School (CCCS), which is operated by a for-profit management company owned by wealthy Republican donor Vahan Gureghian.The loan was received by Archway Charter School of Chester, Inc., which is the nonprofit name for CCCS under which it files its 990 tax form.The CCCS charter already received more than $2.5 million from the CARES Act, intended for public schools. So CCCS, which aims for a complete takeover and privatization of its district, is funded both as a “public school” and a small business.
A month ago, when the public health community was warning about the dangers of premature opening and our reality show President was turning mask-wearing into a culture war issue, David Henderson and Jonathan Lipow decided to use precious space on the Wall Street Journal op ed page to publish an essay titled “The Data Are In: It’s Time for Major Reopening” (ungated at the link). They argue that “populationwide lockdowns should end” and even suggest that social distancing has been harmful. OK, then, I guess there’s no need to second-guess re-opening bars in Florida or Arizona. And no need to worry about testing and contact tracing, despite the fact that one of the papers they cite to support their position recommends it. And no need to tear our hair out worrying about masks. It’s all good.